When someone says a recipe is a fun weekend project you should take them seriously. Do not start making soft pretzels at 8 p.m. on a Monday, especially not after watching the Oscars in Harlem the night before and getting home at 12:45 a.m. They will smell heavenly but you will be tired and hot because keeping the oven at 450 degrees this long is woah.
I would have put this project off but I had committed to making the pretzels for tonight's volunteering last week. And when I commit I really commit. Even though as I write this I'm up later than I would like I have to tell you the pretzels were fun to put together and easy.
The dough rose beautifully and just kept rising. It had this fantastic smooth, elastic texture that I could have rolled out for hours and I might have done so while trying to get the pretzels perfect only it was so late that I was saved from my perfectionism. I used parchment paper instead of greasing the pans, which made clean-up a breeze, and kosher salt instead of pretzel salt as I already had it.
These are delicious, at least as good as Costco's soft pretzels. I highly recommend you make them on a weekend! My only caution to you is don't over poach the dough. Over poached pretzels will end up sticky/uncooked on the bottom and a little creepy though still tasty if you remove the doughy layer.
When I read the entry's comments I noticed that someone had wrapped veggie hot dogs in the pretzel dough and made stuffed pretzel bites. Yum. I might have to try that next or a soy-ginger glaze or a cheese-green chile filling like a jalapeno popper or pb&j...there are endless possibilities!